What makes a good screencast?

In TELMeD, we have decided to make more use of screencasts to provide both staff and students with quick helpful tips for a range of technologies we support; including the DLE, Pebblepad, and a number of our eResources.

Screencasts are a great way of providing training that people can use in their own time, following along where necessary, at their own pace – and can be referred back to at any time. But what makes a good screencast?

The key points we try to stick to for TELMeD screencasts are:

  • Give it an introduction – everybody needs to know what they are watching after all!
  • Keep it short – our screencasts are 2mins maximum, they are designed to give you quick bite-size information about a specific topic or task you may need to accomplish.
  • Overlay with instructions – we have decided not to use voiceovers (expect in low-literacy cases) as speakers/headphones may not always be available.
  • Keep it interesting – we use simple graphic animations, and friendly “handwritten” tips to keep the screen visually entertaining.
  • Have relevant thumbnails – we host our videos on youtube, so clearly identifiable thumbnails can help viewers find the information they need quickly.
  • Simple background music – this helps to keep the pace of the video to keep it entertaining without making it too distracting.

Here is an example of one of the screencasts we have recently produced to help students with the new changes to the DLE:

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